In police dramas on television, there are certain plot developments that give away the game. For example, when detectives show up at a suspect's home, and the suspect seems concerned about the police looking beneath his shed, it's a safe bet there's some incriminating evidence under that shed.
With this in mind, I'm fascinated by Trump World talking publicly about the areas it wants Special Counsel Robert Mueller to avoid.
[T]he president's personal attorney, Jay Sekulow, told POLITICO on Thursday he is primed to lodge formal objections with either Mueller or Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein if the Russia investigation took a wide or unexpected detour into issues like an old Trump real-estate deal.
"We'd view that as outside the scope of legitimate inquiry," Sekulow said. "We'd raise it."
Donald Trump made a similar comment over the summer to the New York Times, when the president said it'd be "a violation" if Mueller examined his personal finances.
Just as a matter of strategy, warnings like these seem unwise. If there's one thing Trump and his team should avoid doing, it's telling federal investigators, "Whatever you do, don't look over there."
What's more, the warnings don't appear to be working. The Washington Post noted yesterday that Mueller's interest in Russian contacts "may extend to Trump's business, as well, with the special counsel's office recently asking for records related to a failed 2015 proposal for a Moscow Trump Tower, according to a person familiar with the request."
If the president's rhetoric from July reflected his genuine intentions, this presumably means Trump will be more inclined to take steps to fire Mueller and derail the investigation.